Author: Nuri Andarwulan, Lilis Nuraida, Siti Madanijah, Hanifah N. Lioe, Zulaikhah
Free glutamate has been known as flavor enhancer. Commercially, free glutamate is available in form of monosodium glutamate (MSG) crystal. Seasoning or premix may also contain free glutamate or MSG. The aim of the present study was focus on the determination of the usage and potential/actual exposure of consumers to free glutamate from condi-ment and seasonings. There were several steps of the study, i.e. survey, laboratory analyses, data analyses, and evalua-tion of total exposure of free glutamate from condiment and seasonings. The survey was conducted to the 110 house-holds in Bogor (rural) and 112 households in Jakarta (urban). The samples of condiment/seasoning were analyzed by using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescent detector. The condiment/seasonings were categorized into 15 types, i.e. sweet soy sauce, salty soy sauce, fermented soybean paste, tomato sauce, MSG, premix seasoning, fermented fish/shrimp paste, chili sauce, ready to use seasoning, seasoned flour, dip and sauce, mayonnaise and mustard, spread, oyster and fish sauce, and teriyaki and others. The results of condiment/seasonings survey re-vealed that sweet soy sauce, MSG, and premix seasoning were used by most of households (±71% or more than 80 households) both in Bogor and Jakarta. The laboratory analyses of free glutamate from condiment/seasonings revealed that the highest free glutamate content was found in MSG (733.29 mg/g). Beside MSG, there were three other condi-ments that also had high free glutamate content, i.e. premix seasoning (70.77 mg/g in Bogor and 63.66 mg/g in Jakarta), oyster and fish sauce (46.76 mg/g in Bogor), and ready to use seasoning (15.71 mg/g in Jakarta). Although the average condiment/seasonings usage in Bogor (5.39 g/cap/day) was lower than that in Jakarta (9.62 g/cap/day), but the free glutamate intake from condiment/seasonings in Bogor (847.04 mg/cap/day) was higher than that in Jakarta (615.87 mg/cap/day). This was due to the high contribution of MSG that used in higher amount in Bogor.